Kia Reviews - Kia Cars | Edmunds.com
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Kia Reviews - Kia Cars

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Kia Motors is a South Korean automaker that's relatively new to the United States. In its early years, Kia largely catered to budget-minded consumers with well-equipped vehicles priced below competing models. More recently, this growing brand has kept value a priority while also emphasizing technology and sportiness.

kia

Kia Motors is a South Korean automaker that's relatively new to the United States. In its early years, Kia largely catered to budget-minded consumers with well-equipped vehicles priced below competing models. More recently, this growing brand has kept value a priority while also emphasizing technology and sportiness.

Founded in Korea in 1944, Kia started as a producer of steel tubing and bicycle parts. The company's name has its roots in the Chinese language, and means "to arise, to come up out of Asia." By the early 1950s, the company had produced Korea's first bicycle; by the latter part of the decade, Kia had branched out into motor scooters, with the rollout of the C100.

The 1960s saw Kia expanding its lineup to include motorcycles and three-wheeled cargo vehicles. Naturally, the next logical step was automobile production, and the company began moving in this direction in the early 1970s. By 1973, Kia had built a facility designed to make its automotive dreams a reality; its Sohari plant held the distinction of being Korea's first fully integrated automobile production facility, and went on to spawn Korea's first internal-combustion gasoline engine. A year later, Kia unveiled the Brisa, Korea's first passenger car. By the end of the decade, Kia's technology was being used to manufacture vehicles like the Peugeot 604 and the Fiat 132.

By the late '80s, Kia's lineup included new models like the Concord, Capital, Potentia and Pride. In 1987, Ford brought the Pride to U.S. shores, rebadging it as the Ford Festiva. Seven years later, Ford dealers got a replacement for the entry-level, subcompact Festiva in the form of another Kia constructed product, the Aspire.

Kia finally began selling vehicles in the U.S. under its own name in the early '90s, trumpeting its presence with the introduction of the compact Sephia. The car's rollout was gradual; in the early days of its production, the Sephia was only available in select Western states. By the mid-'90s, SUVs had emerged as a phenomenally popular and profitable vehicle segment. Kia responded with the 1995 Sportage, a compact SUV. By the end of the '90s, Kia's nationwide rollout was nearly complete.

Financial difficulties in the late '90s prevented Kia from expanding its lineup beyond those two models. Hyundai, South Korea's other major automaker, acquired the company in a merger in 1998.

Kia has been on a major upswing since its purchase by Hyundai, with improvements in build quality, performance and overall refinement. Reliability, previously a weak point, has also improved markedly and consumers' confidence was further bolstered by Kia's substantial warranty program. Today, Kia is on a dramatic upswing and offers a broad lineup of well-built coupes, sedans and crossovers that stand out for their value, performance and sporty styling.

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2015 Kia Cadenza Premium Sedan Exterior View photos

Kia Cadenza Sedan

Fuel economy:19 cty/28 hwy mpg

MSRP from $34,900

2015 Kia Forte Forte5 SX 4dr Hatchback Exterior Shown View photos

Kia Forte Hatchback

Fuel economy:25 cty/33 hwy mpg

MSRP from $19,690

2015 Kia Forte Koup SX Coupe Exterior Shown View photos

Kia Forte Koup

Fuel economy:24 cty/33 hwy mpg

MSRP from $18,590

2015 Kia Forte EX Sedan Exterior Shown View photos

Kia Forte Sedan

Fuel economy:25 cty/37 hwy mpg

MSRP from $15,890

2015 Kia K900 Premium Sedan Exterior View photos

Kia K900 Sedan

Fuel economy:15 cty/23 hwy mpg

MSRP from $54,500

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2014 Kia Optima EX Hybrid Sedan Exterior View photos

Kia Optima Hybrid

Fuel economy:36 cty/40 hwy mpg

MSRP from $25,995

2015 Kia Optima SX Turbo Sedan Exterior Shown View photos

Kia Optima Sedan

Fuel economy:23 cty/34 hwy mpg

MSRP from $21,690

2015 Kia Optima Hybrid EX Sedan Exterior Shown View photos

Kia Optima Hybrid Sedan

Fuel economy:36 cty/40 hwy mpg

MSRP from $25,990

2016 Kia Rio SX 4dr Hatchback Exterior Shown View photos

Kia Rio Hatchback

Fuel economy:27 cty/37 hwy mpg

MSRP from $15,495

2016 Kia Rio EX Sedan Exterior Shown View photos

Kia Rio Sedan

Fuel economy:27 cty/38 hwy mpg

MSRP from $14,165

2015 Kia Sedona SX Passenger Minivan Exterior View photos

Kia Sedona Minivan

Fuel economy:18 cty/24 hwy mpg

MSRP from $26,100

2016 Kia Sorento Limited 4dr SUV Exterior View photos

Kia Sorento SUV

Fuel economy:21 cty/29 hwy mpg

MSRP from $24,900

2015 Kia Soul ! Wagon Exterior Shown View photos

Kia Soul Wagon

Fuel economy:24 cty/30 hwy mpg

MSRP from $15,190

2015 Kia Soul EV + Wagon Exterior View photos

Kia Soul EV Wagon

Fuel economy:120 cty/92 hwy mpg

MSRP from $33,700

2015 Kia Sportage EX 4dr SUV Exterior Shown View photos

Kia Sportage SUV

Fuel economy:21 cty/28 hwy mpg

MSRP from $21,900

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